It’s the very beginning of fall—the air has a crispness to it, but it’s still sunny and warm. The leaves are just beginning to fade from a lush green, to a brilliant golden-yellow. You wear your favorite sweater out, even though it’s still a bit too hot and you’re slightly sweating under your layers of wool but you don’t really care. This is picnic weather, you guys. And what does one eat at a picnic? Egg salad. This is no ordinary egg salad, though. It is gourmet egg salad. We’re even making our own mayonnaise here, people!
I like this egg salad for many reasons, but the main reason has to be for its lack of celery. I hate celery. In fact, I don’t just hate it, I loathe it. According to my friends and family, “celery has no flavor; it tastes like water.” Oh, au contraire! To me, it has one of the most harsh and pungent flavors of anything I have ever tried. That is why I have made this super delicious, super gourmet egg salad, SANS the fibrous, green, stalk of a vegetable.
The tarragon in the egg salad is actually from an infused vinegar and a tarragon dijon, both of which I also used in my Tarragon Fennel-Apple Salad with Prosciutto di San Daniele and Taleggio. The sweet, aromatic, anise-y flavor of the herb cuts through the creaminess of the dish and really takes egg salad to the next level. The lemony mayo not only highlights the tarragon, but adds a bit of a fresh zing. (By the way, the mayo recipe will make more than you need, but I highly suggest trying it out wherever you would use regular mayonnaise. For instance, it is awesome on burgers!)
While the egg salad is totally delicious on its own, its incredible as the completed sandwich. The peppery arugula, the crunchy bread, the juicy tomatoes (make sure you use really fresh, plump tomatoes), the creamy egg salad… together the flavors and textures sing. I will warn you, these sandwiches are messy. But hey, if you’re eating them outside, who cares? If you want a slightly less messy version, try eating them as open-faced sandwiches.
Tarragon Egg Salad Sandwiches with Homemade Lemon-Chive Mayo
- 2 large egg yolks + 1 egg
- juice of 1 large lemon
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 1 tbsp Dijon
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 2-3 tbsp chopped chives
- Add the egg yolks + egg, lemon juice and zest, and Dijon to the bowl of a food processor.
- Process for about a minute. With the motor running, add in the oil in a slow steady stream and process until thick and creamy.
- Season, to taste, with salt, and stir in the chives.
- 8 eggs
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp grainy mustard (I used Kozlik’s Triple Crunch)
- 1 tsp tarragon Dijon*
- 2 tsp tarragon vinegar*
- ½ tsp salt
- 2-3 tbsp minced shallot
- ½ cup Lemon-Chive Mayo
- Place the eggs in a pot and fill with cool water to cover about an inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand in warm water for 15 minutes before transferring to an ice bath and peeling.
- Finely chop the eggs.
- Put all of the ingredients into a medium bowl and mix to combine.
- Allow the egg salad to sit in the fridge for at least an hour) or the shallot taste will be a bit overpowering).
- baguette, quartered and split lengthwise
- grape seed oil
- salt & pepper
- Lemon-Chive Mayo
- Tarragon-Shallot Egg Salad
- baby arugula
- tomato slices (I used a couple gorgeous heirlooms)
- Set the oven on broil (high).
- Brush the insides of the baguette with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Toast in the oven until golden.
- Spread a bit of the mayo on either side of the baguette and top with the tomato, egg salad, and arugula.